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Concorso internazionale 21° GPFF

Au royaume d’Athéna

Robert Henno - Belgium | 2017 | 26’
Hedge clearance, the replacement of old pollard willows with metal poles, the destruction of ancient orchards, and intensive use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers: all of this has led to a decrease in the population of the Little Owl. But to turn around this phenomenon and bring life back to our countryside again, not much is needed. The film is an invitation to discover this delightful small bird of prey evolving in her habitat, as well as the fauna which populates her ‘realm’.

Kamchatka Bears. Life Begins

Irina Zhuravleva, Vladislvav Grishin - Russia | 2018 | 52’
The South Kamchatka Federal Sanctuary is often called a bear paradise. The LESFILM production team headed there and spent seven months observing and filming hidden secrets the newborn brown bear cubs’ daily lives throughout their first year on Earth. ‘Kamchatka Bears. Life Begins’ is a movie that differs from the other nature documentary. The film is meditative. Music, the sounds of nature and the absence of a human voice allow the viewer to plunge into the beauty of wild nature, to feel its presence among volcanoes, rivers and wild animals, and experience an important boundary, beyond which a person should not interfere. The LESFILM team comprises a number of skilled professional experts, among them famous environmental activist and photographer Igor Shpilenok and ecologist Dr. Valentin Pazhetnov, who is widely known as ‘Uncle Bear’.

The Last Pig

Allison Argo - United States of America | 2017 | 54’
The Last Pig is a lyrical meditation on what it means to be a sentient creature with the power to kill. This penetrating documentary captures the deeply personal journey of one man during his final year as a pig farmer. While the seasons change, the farmer shares his growing conflict over a life spent “peddling in death” and wonders: is there really a humane way to kill? The film unfolds unhurriedly, often in real time, asking the viewer to stop and experience: the gaze of a pig, the farmer’s turmoil, the concrete slaughterhouse, and the ghosts. Intensely immersive, the film is a contemplation on life, death and personal ethics.

Rooted - The giant

Barend van der Watt, Henk Ekermans - South-Africa | 2017 | 48’
In the Afromontane forests of the Soutpansberg grows a giant Outeniqua Yellowwood. This is the story of how this colossal tree hosts, feeds and shelters an array of plants and animals in the bows of her branches.

Yellowwoods belongs to an ancient family of trees that does not produce flowers, but instead reproduces by means of male and female cones. These dissimilar cones are found on separate trees. Yellowwood fruit also feeds various species of bird, like the purple crested Turaco. Mammals, such as rock hyraxes and Samango monkeys also scale the tree to consume the fruit, while woodland dormice and crested guineafowl scavenge for the fruit on the ground.

At the top of the tree, birds of pray, like crowned eagles will construct their massive nests, while Chacma baboons often take refuse in yellowwoods’ branches for the night.

Lemming - The Little Giant Of The North

Zoltan Török - Germany, Sweden, Hungary | 2017 | 50’
They are small. They are angry. And every four year or so they appear in masses seemingly from nowhere. Meet the Norway lemming, perhaps the most misunderstood and mysterious animal of the Scandinavian mountains. The film follows the unfolding ecological thriller of the exploding lemming population that creates a domino effect in the entire Nordic nature. Finally it inevitably leads to a dramatic climax with the crash of the lemming population and then a sudden lack of prey for the predators.

Wild Ireland, The Edge of the World

John Murray, Cepa Giblin - Ireland | 2017 | 59’
Colin Stafford-Johnson begins his Atlantic journey exploring the ancient ruins and wildlife of the Skellig Rocks – stormbound ocean pinnacles off the southwestern corner of Ireland where early Christian monks built a monastery on the summit almost 1500 years ago. His next stop is the deserted Blasket Islands, home to a wildlife spectacle more familiar from Antarctica – vast numbers of Seals coming ashore in winter to fight, mate and moult before he heads inland through Ireland’s highest mountain range in search of the island’s last surviving herd of Red Deer from prehistoric times. Back on the coast he goes on the trail of Humpback Whales which are making their mark in Irish waters returning year after year in increasing numbers before heading north along the coast to meet Ireland’s only toads and lizards and a lonely dolphin who has set up residence off Ireland’s striking limestone desert region – the Burren. This first stage of his journey ends in Clew Bay, an iconic inlet half way up Ireland’s west coast and the place Colin chose to make his home after decades traveling the world.

Ranger & Leopard

Fathollah Amiri, Nima Asgari - Iran | 2017 | 53’
Halvani, a hard-working and passionate park ranger, discovers a Persian leopard in its area of responsibility, in Isfahan, a remote location in the center of Iran. By now, the predator is rare; it has disappeared from those valleys for at least thirty years.

Halvani understands that if the leopard comes back, the fate of the whole region could change.

A patient and constant research on the trail of the leopard with suggestive Iranian desert landscapes, which reveals the deep love of Halvani for the nature that surrounds him.

White Wolves – Ghosts of the Arctic

Oliver Goetzl - Germany | 2018 | 56’
At the very northern edge of Canada is Ellesmere Island, where the unforgiving Arctic winds tear through the tundra, dipping temperatures to 40 below zero. Running through this shifting sea of snow and ice is one of the most hardened predators on the planet, the Arctic Wolf. But as the spring melt approaches, these roaming hunters must adapt to being tethered parents as new additions to the pack have just been born. With never-before-seen footage of wolf family life, ‘Ghosts of the Arctic’ is a dramatic and touching story of loyalty, companionship and devotion. It’s an epic true tale that reveals the struggles and triumphs of a family working to survive in one of the last great wildernesses on Earth.

Leo80. The Story of His Life

Guram Gabuniya - Russia | 2017 | 27’
A young leopard named Leo80M confident in his own power and dexterity falls into a poacher’s trap. Russian border guards find the weak and exhausted leopard, scientists and vets struggle to save his life. Throughout the movie, we watch the specialists prepare the leopard for its release back into wild nature and restore his hunting skills step by step. It is the beginning of a new chapter in the life of our hero.

Attenborough’s Ant Mountain

Joe Loncraine, Martin Dohrn - Austria | 2017 | 50’
David Attenborough travels to the Jura Mountains in the Swiss Alps, to find out about one of the largest animal societies in the world, where over a billion ants live in peace. After following the lives of these incredible creatures and their dramatic fight for survival for a year, he is able to unravel the secrets of the Swiss super-colony.